We learn a little more this evening about the shake up which saw Matt Kupec and Tami Hansbrough lose their travel vouchers, and UNC-CH Chancellor Holden Thorp announce his intentions to get out while the getting was good.Â He might wish to re-think his spring/summer timeline because the N&O’s Dan Kane peels back another layer of the onion tonight, to expose more rotting core.
Another One Bites the Dust
We learn of another university affiliated official who has found themselves jobless.Â This time it’s Brad Bodegar, the already former executive director of the dental foundation.Â That’s Tami Hansbrough’s former employer for those who haven’t been playing along regularly at home.Â Why did he take a powder, you ask?
UNC-Chapel Hillâ€™s dental foundation released a three-year-old report Tuesday that said Tami Hansbrough did not receive proper approval for a trip to Memphis in which her son, Tyler, was playing for the basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.
Hansbrough was hired as an associate director for the foundation in December 2008 to raise money. UNC officials later said the trips were for fundraising, and the report includes an addendum in which her fundraising activities on those trips were listed.
The News & Observer had sought the release of the report after learning about issues with Hansbroughâ€™s travel that ultimately caused her and Matt Kupec, the vice chancellor for university advancement, to resign last week.
Brad Bodager, the executive director of the foundation, resigned after the review. Attempts to reach him recently have been unsuccessful.
The firm that conducted the review, Davenport, Marvin, Joyce & Co. of Greensboro, found a lack of communication with regard to financial matters both within the foundation and with the dean of the dental school. It reported a â€œperceived lack of support on the part of the Dean related to questioning by the staff of the excessive and questionable spending by the Development office employees.â€
The firm also recommended several measures to increase accountability, such as an annual travel plan that would explain why certain trips are needed, how much they would cost and how they would be funded.
The foundationâ€™s current executive director, Paul Gardner, had denied the release of the report, saying the foundation is not a governmental entity subject to the public records law. He released the report at Thorpâ€™s request.
I can hear some of you out there now saying “So what?Â Didn’t we already know this?”.Â If that was your reaction, read it again.
Three year old report.Â Bodegar had no choice but to resign in light of this.
Holden Thorp is similarly saddled.Â Despite being the one to finally request its release, it can’t be argued that it still doesn’t make him look bad.Â He did approve her hiring into the student affairs office, after all.Â Even before similar jet setting on the company dime began from that position, which only serves to worsen things for those involved, her hiring should have been nixed from the get go.
So what?Â Again with the so whats?
Well, let’s think about that for a second.Â Why would the affairs of the dental foundation, or even the student affairs office for that matter, make any difference here?Â What is the connecting thread?
Answer Number One:Â Athletics
Answer Number Two:Â Money
Answer Number Three: Preferential Treatment
This three year old report surfacing only serves to reinforce what we all already knew way down deep.Â In spite of all of their rantings about doing things the right way for as long as any of us care to remember, this is becoming more and more obviously a severe case of tail wags dog.Â If one had athletic connections in Chapel Hill, your worries were few.Â If you had them AND you could raise some scratch for the university, you could write your own ticket (and apparently a few did just that).
So the questions become…
1) What other questionable judgement calls and/or matters of preferential treatment have been made in the interests of athletics and money?Â We already know of some, of course.Â Quite a few actually.Â But no need to go into that.
B) How long has it been going on?Â These practices didn’t just start all of a sudden one day in 2007.
The first question is what I believe will eventually hasten Chancellor Thorp’s departing flight.Â But it’s both questions together that I believe will bring some much deserved heat elsewhere.Â Heat on someone who has oft been mentioned as being very quiet and passive (even supportive, hint hint) in all matters “UNC Scandal”, despite a very different history when it’s other schools’ heads on the block.
Nothing yet to implicate involvement.Â Â Or even passive compliance.Â Not yet.Â But we are getting perilously close toÂ “You got some ‘splaining to do” territory.Â And unlike former executive director Bodegar, not answering the phone won’t suffice.Â Neither will “no comment”, but I fully expect it nonetheless.
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